The whole of Camelot was a blaze of fiery reds and earthy greens as Yuletide due closer. Holly lay in clusters along the staircases, and mistletoe had been strategically placed by Sir Gwaine along the corridors, leading to several awkward moments amongst the serving staff. The great hall was full of glistening candle light, and a huge pine tree, even larger than Percival (and THAT was saying something) stood proud in the centre, adorned in big glass orbs and painted wooden ornaments. Everyone in Camelot was excited for the Holidays. Everyone it seemed, except a certain manservant to the King.

It wasn't like Merlin was against Christmas time. Quite the opposite actually, he was mesmerised by the bright colours and joyful faces of children as they discussed what they would like to receive. It's just that he had never had the opportunity to celebrate it.

"So then Merlin," Arthur said in his usual prattish manner after one of his training sessions, "What do you suppose you'll be doing for Christmas?" He and the knights all would be attending the banquet, then visiting the local tavern, and Gwaine had had the brilliant idea of inviting Merlin along as well. When they saw Merlin looked confused, Percival elaborated. "I mean, what did you used to do back in Ealdor? Or with Gaius? Or do you just prefer a tavern?"

"I don't know," Merlin replied. "Honestly, I've never celebrated Christmas."

A deadly silence fell across the room, which only broke as Gwaine spluttered, "What do you mean you've never celebrated Yuletide? Everyone celebrates Yuletide!"

Merlin sighed, wishing he didn't have to talk about this with his friends. "Well, back in Ealdor, no one ever had the money for any presents. The man of the house would spend everyday in the fields, trying to provide for their family, and seeing how I never knew my father (Merlin's voice tightened at the mention of Balinor, even after all those years) I would spend my time helping my mum with the chores. My mother also acted as a sort of physician, something she learnt from her brother, so she also often had to send me on errands to help the other villagers with any sicknesses. We simply didn't have the time or money for Christmas."

Seeing the dismayed look on his friends' faces, he tried to lighten the situation. "It's not like I didn't have any fun at Yuletide. My friend Will would often accompany me on my chores, especially after his father was killed. I remember this one year, we walked out to the lake which had frozen over, and attempted to go ice skating. The ice was too weak to hold us though, so we fell through. We got out and both of us were bluer than the water we had fallen in." Merlin chuckled at the memory of the look on his mother's face as the two of them had stood outside Merlin's house, teeth chattering and clothes sopping, and the way she had yelled at them until her face was almost as red as their cheeks.

The knights still didn't seem very happy. "But what about when you arrived at Camelot? Surely you must have celebrated it here!"

"To be honest, this is the first year Camelot has really celebrated the holiday. Uther hated this time of year." Arthur frowned, for he knew that it was around Christmas he had been born, and around now that both his mother and father had died. "Besides, just because it's Christmas it doesn't mean the sick and injured don't need tending to. Usually I spend Yuletide doing my job as Arthur's manservant in the morning, then in my free afternoon I usually take over Gaius' duties so he doesn't have to run around all day. Then, when I finally finish, I have a late supper and go to bed." And with that Merlin began to polish Arthur's armour again.

The knights were stunned. Even Arthur, whose father had been bitter about the holiday, had celebrated a lavished Christmas. And he hadn't even noticed that his frien- servant hadn't so much as got presents from Father Christmas. Speaking of which-


"What is it Arthur?" Merlin answered, exasperation clear in his voice, as all the talking meant he was running behind on his chores.

"What about presents? Have you ever gotten a Christmas present?"

Merlin looked stunned at the thought, before replying.

"No, I suppose I haven't. I often gathered bunches of flowers for my mother around Christmas, but she never had any money to buy me a gift. If I couldn't afford a winter coat, why would I need any toys or gifts? Here in Camelot, I usually send my mother money at Christmas from my wages, and I might buy myself some new clothes if mine are too worn to be impractical." Merlin stood up, picking up the armour as he did so. "I can see there is no chance of me getting any work done here. If you'll excuse me," and with that, Merlin strode out of the armoury.

The knights looked at each other is shocked silence, before Gwaine finally spoke. "I can't believe Merlin has never celebrated Christmas!"

"It doesn't sound like Merlin had much of a childhood," Percival added.

"I can't believe I never noticed. I've seen him running around at Christmas, but I always assumed he was just visiting friends!" Leon exclaimed.

"Well men, I think I have a better plan for tomorrow," Arthur declared. The other knights of the Round Table gathered around him, faces lighting up with glee as they listened to what their King had to say. And when he finished each knight went off their separate ways, preparing for the day ahead.

When Merlin awoke the next day, he walked down to the kitchens to collect Arthur's breakfast, he didn't notice the cook passing a knowing glance in his direction, a smile lighting up her face, and he also didn't notice Gwaine and Leon trying not to be seen carrying large packages. All Merlin could think about was getting all his work done, and sending off the money he had saved all year to his mother.

As he placed the food down into the King's table, he noticed an absence of the prat himself. "Arthur, where are you? Look Prat, I have other bits of work to do besides yours."Suddenly Merlin noticed a note on the table. He read it aloud to himself.


Meet me down in Gaius' chambers. Bring my breakfast with you.


P.S. Do not eat any of it, or else certain stable duties will be headed your way.

"Why could he not have told me this yesterday!" Merlin exclaimed, grumbling to himself about prattish Kings before picking up the food and heading back down to Gaius' chambers.

"Arthur, you prat, I can't believe you-"

Merlin stopped in shock. Because in front of him were all the Knights, Gwen, Gaius and Arthur, along with dozens of presents and a full Christmas dinner.

"Happy first Christmas Merlin!" they all yelled.

Merlin was stunned. The knights had bought him some more clothes (under Gwen's guidance) including some new boots and a thick winter coat. Even Arthur had gotten him some new neckerchiefs, enjoying watching the glow of utter joy and amazement that rippled off his servant.

The feast was also lovely, having made by Mary, the head chef for the castle, who had overheard what the knights were planning and had wanted to get involved I. Helping her favourite servant.

All in all the day was one Merlin would never forget.

And whenever Merlin felt sad or alone, he always remembered that Christmas and a big smile never failed to grace his face.

I just felt like we needed a light Christmassy fic to counteract that finale (which had me sobbing for hours). This fic is set after Season 4 before Season 5. Merry christmas everyone, and I would love to get some Christmas reviews :)